straw bale insulationgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
My husband and I are looking at the possibility of using a 40x60 metal shop biulding as a shell for our house. We wondered at the practicality of using strawbales as insulation and sheetrocking or plastering over them. We have some concerns about termites, rodents, and worst of all, fire ants moving in with us. Anyone with any experiences with this type of application for strawbale construction? Pest problems? Etc.? Thanks and Blessings Maven
-- Maven Koesler (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 01, 1999
You would really need to stucco or plaster both sides of strawbales to keep vermin out. If you just put them up against the tin, you would be asking for all sorts of critters to keep you company. Better to stack the strawbales in traditional strawbale construction and keep the shed intact. There are several books that cover the topic in depth.
-- greenbeanman (email@example.com), November 02, 1999.
One option you have is to remove the lower wall portion of the tin building. Keep the load bearing members and fill in with the bales. This is much closer to a timber frame home method. Be sure to make at least one sheer wall so you don't loose it in a wind storm and be sure to keep those bales up off the ground. As I understand it, it's a good idea to have an 18" or so distance between the ground and your first run of bales. You will want to stake them together somehow. Some people use wooden stakes, some use rebar. I believe it is also a good idea to wrap your bales with some sort of vapor barrier like roofing felt or tar paper and chicken wire that will give the stucko a good surface to adhere too. I understand some people are applying the stucko directly to the strawbale surface but I really don't think that's a good idea. Another issue you will have to deal with is going to be your joint between the top of the wall and roof. A soffit of traditional construction should function fine but there will be issues of tieing the two together and maintaining a tight unmoving seal. It shouldn't be difficult to resolve but it will require some thought and creativity.
If you run into problems I would love to help
-- Jak (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 15, 1999.